SNP told to take action as 173,000 Scots thought they had Covid long

SNP told to take action as 173,000 Scots thought they had Covid long
SNP told to take action as 173,000 Scots thought they had Covid long

The SNP Government has been urged to offer more support to more than 170,000 people in Scotland who are believed to have long suffered from Covid – amid accusations they are being ‘neglected’.

New figures released by the Office for National Statistics estimate that 173,000 in Scotland have long since declared themselves Covid.

The upper estimate suggests the number could be as high as 199,000 – an 18% increase on the 169,000 patients in Scotland who suffered from the disease three months earlier.

The Scottish LibDems have warned the government’s long Covid support fund is worth just £10m over three years and compared that to half of the £20m set aside by SNP ministers to stage a second independence referendum next year.

The LibDems want specialist long Covid clinics to be set up in every health board and the training of specialist long Covid community nurses to offer in-home support.

The party also called for nationwide access to long Covid physiotherapy and multi-disciplinary rehabilitation and a no financial harm policy for workers absent for long periods due to long Covid.

Scottish LibDem leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said: “173,000 Scots have been suffering from Covid for a long time, but when it comes to care and support, their government is nowhere to be found.

“The SNP and the Greens have ignored their pleas for help and have systematically neglected all those whose lives have been turned upside down by the disease.

“Long Covid rates are higher in Scotland than they are in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, so the government cannot use the excuse that demand for services is not not here.

“The Prime Minister is spending twice as much money on his efforts to break up the UK as he is on helping people who have long suffered from Covid.

“We need dedicated clinics across Scotland and a commitment to nationwide access to long Covid physiotherapy and multidisciplinary rehabilitation.”

The Scottish Conservatives have called on Health Secretary Humza Yousaf to “stop dithering” and provide more support.

Scottish Conservative health spokesman Dr Sandesh Gulhane said: ‘These alarming figures should serve as a reminder to Humza Yousaf to stop dithering and act now.

“The ONS is clear that cases of Long Covid are increasing in Scotland, under the watch of the SNP, while they are decreasing south of the border, where specialist clinics are operational.

“The SNP Health Secretary has ignored repeated pleas from the sick and opposition politicians, like me, to provide the necessary funding for specialist Long Covid clinics, which are already operating in England. He can no longer ignore these calls given these numbers.

He added: “Nearly 200,000 Scots are now battling Long Covid, and yet GPs are struggling to refer patients to the specialist care they need.

“The SNP must act late now. As Parliament returns next week, the suffering of Long Covid patients must be a top priority for Humza Yousaf.

“He should support the proposals I made over a year ago for a network of clinics across Scotland.”

Mr Yousaf said: “All NHS Scotland boards provide assessment and support for people with long-term Covid, delivered across the full range of services provided by our NHS.

“The Scottish Government is investing an initial £3m from our longstanding Covid support fund to provide NHS boards and partners with additional resources to deliver the best local models of care for assessment, diagnostic testing and support for treatment or symptom management.

‘Today I met staff at NHS Lanarkshire’s long-running Covid rehab service and patients at Monklands University Hospital to see how the council have used the £320,000 granted to assess patients and provide access to services such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, psychology, dietetics and speech and language therapy.

“The service, which has received more than 200 referrals since the end of May, is just one example of the flexible and personalized way in which NHS advice adapts to meet the needs of people living with long Covid, argued with funding from the Scottish Government.

“The initiatives supported by the Scottish Government’s Covid Long Support Fund include key elements of care which are also offered by Covid Long Assessment Clinics elsewhere in the UK.”

. SNP says take from measures so Scottish thought have long Covid

. SNP told action Scots thought Covid long

PREV ‘It’s a disaster’ – Man Utd ex-man defends Maguire and slams outspoken Keane
NEXT Ian Baraclough has yet to prove his worth as Northern Ireland manager, says Stephen Craigan